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Plethora of activities at Park Centre keep Castonguay a busy senior

Jerry Castonguay said he was never great at golf, but still enjoys playing the game. His handicap is the max aloud, and that is fine by him.
Jerry Castonguay said he was never great at golf, but still enjoys playing the game. His handicap is the max aloud, and that is fine by him.

Jerry Castonguay used to live in Newton for many years, but when he retired, he found himself coming back to the city he once called home.

“Before I retired, we (his wife and him) lived in Council Bluffs,” Castonguay said. “We had been in Newton before, (and) we decided to come back to Newton in 1985. And seeing where we really wanted to retire. So we are still thinking about it.”

Since retiring, he moved to Park Centre and learned there are plenty of activities to do.

“We have scheduled card games (and) we have a pool room,” Castonguay said. “We have a group who plays pool. There are no women involved and that his not our choice. No women are interested.”

He said he played pool since he was a child, and enjoys it, but Park Centre did not always have an accessible pool table.

“When I was a kid, I used to play pool,” Castonguay said. “(In) here, they (Park Centre) had a pool table (but residents) lost interest, so they were using (the pool room) as a storage room. So another guy who moved in really liked pool, and he started to talk up to (make it accessible).”

He also said he enjoys a good game of golf.

“I like golf, but I do that independently,” Castonguay said. “On occasion, I go down to a musical program.”

He said he was a little concerned about his ability to play this year, because of a new alignment that affects his balance system, but he said it will not affect his game.

“I have never been a good golfer,” he said. “I enjoy golfing, but I have never been a good golfer. I don’t have a handicap of four or something. According to the PGA, the largest one you can have is a 21 handicap. Guess what? Mine is 21.”

In addition to their activities, The seniors are often treated to shows such as a magic act or a musical performance, in the afternoon.

“Another thing that is available is we have a 15-passenger van, and they schedule various things,” he said. “Now that could be entertainment, such as, if the local theatre group (is putting on a performance like) ‘The Sound of Music’ or ‘Oklahoma’ or something, it could be (used) for shopping, or it could be for (an out-of-town activity), and it could be (used) for what they call JULIETS. Now if you break down JULIETS, it works out to be just ladies intending to eat together.”

Although Castonguay can drive, he understands how important the van is for some senoirs and said it is not used for long trips.

“We do not use it like you would a travel agency or something like that,” Castonguay said. “We don’t go to New York City and we don’t go to Washington, just to things close. Sometimes they will schedule something in Des Moines if there is going to be something in particular or something like that.”

Being in a retirement community, he said he learned seniors have four main tasks.

“There are four main things that happen (here),” Castonguay said. “One, you’re getting ready to go down to dinner; two, you’re going to the grocery store to buy the things you need for your other meals that are not provided; three, you are going to a doctors appointment or the hospital for a test or something, and four, ‘Is the mail here yet?”

He also added, on Sunday mornings, a Methodist ministry holds a church service and a Bible study group, but he does not attend because he is Catholic.

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